Patient Devils Explode In Rout to Sweep Cal

Sunday afternoon couldn't have gone any better for the Arizona State Sun Devils, thanks in part to the inability of Cal pitchers to throw strikes. ASU drew 16 walks, including seven in the second inning that saw the Devils plate 10 runs to cruise to an 18-2 victory to earn a sweep of the three game weekend series at Packard Stadium.

The game was called after the top of the seventh, when Cal Head Coach David Esquer approached the umpire about calling the game. Pac 10 rules state that games can be ended after seven if one team is ahead by ten or more runs and both coaches agree.

"Cal didn't play like a Top 10 team," said ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy, "This happens in college baseball this time of year. What we did do is we took advantage of what they gave us. We didn't swing out of the zone."

"We lead the nation in walks and we lead the nation in runs scored, I believe. That is our game, if you don't throw us strikes, we're going to walk. It takes discipline to do that. It's great that we beat a Top 10 team three games, we don't take those for granted."

Murphy thinks that taking walks are part of being a good offensive ballclub.

"I think taking walks is part of the art of hitting. They contributed to it a great deal, they didn't establish anything. Those weren't walks that you earned as much as walks that they just gave it to us, four pitch walks. Probably five or six of them were quality walks, the rest were gifts."

With the win the Sun Devils moved back into a tie for first place in the Pac 10, as Stanford fell to USC 10-9 on Sunday.

"The league will be very interesting," said Murphy, "We still have the two teams left that are ranked, the preseason #1s with all the talent and then we got Washington who is the biggest surprise of the year. We have nine tough conference games (left)."

Murphy thinks that his team still has a lot to work on in order to win a conference championship.

"We have to play better defense. We have to pitch better; we have to be more locked in pitch to pitch if we want to be a great team, because we are very inexperienced. Inexperienced teams tend to take pitches off and that will get you beat."

It looked like it was going to be another long afternoon for Josh Satow, as the Bears jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first inning. The senior allowed a one out single to Charlie Cutler and walked David Cooper, before Josh Satin lined a single that scored Cutler and gave Cal a 1-0 lead. Brett Jackson followed with a single that loaded the bases for Dylan Tonneson. Satow proceeded to walk Tonneson to force in a run. Satow then settled down and got Blake Smith to go down on strikes and Michael Brady flew out to center to end the threat.

That was all that Cal fans had to cheer about, as it got out of hand very quickly. In their half of the second inning, ASU sent 16 batters to the plate, including seven straight reaching base. ASU only had three hits in the inning that saw them plate 10 runs, but were helped by seven walks, a hit by pitch and three Cal errors.

Matt Newman reached to start the inning after getting hit by a pitch and Mike Leake drew a free pass. Raoul Torrez sacrificed the runners to second and third before Greg Bordes walked to load the bases. Ryan Sontag dropped down a perfect drag bunt that he legged out for a single that scored Matt Newman to cut the lead to 2-1. Jason Kipnis hit a sac fly to center field to score Leake to tie the game at 2-2.

Brett Wallace extended the inning with an opposite field single that scored Bordes and made it 3-2 Devils. Petey Paramore then hit a ground ball to Cal 2B Josh Satin, who bobbled the ball and then threw it away allowing two runs to score. Kiel Roling would score on a wild pitch to make it 6-2, before the Bears' defense let them down again.

Mike Leake lofted a pop up to the third baseman Jeff Kobernus, who dropped the can of corn and Paramore and Newman scored on the play. Raoul Torrez rubbed salt in the wounds of the Bears with a single to score Leake, giving ASU a 9-2 lead. Bordes, Sontag and Kipnis all walked to force in another run, making it 10-2.

ASU increased its lead to 12-2 in the third on a two run homer by Petey Paramore. Jason Kipnis made it 13-2 with a sac fly in the bottom of the fourth.

ASU added five more in the fifth and once again walks keyed the outburst. Matt Newman and Rocky Laguna started things with walks and Raoul Torrez was hit by a pitch to load the bases. Greg Bordes sent a ball into right field, but Laguna was gunned at third taking a hit away from Bordes. Newman scored on the play to make it 14-2.

After Sontag walked to once again load the bases, Kipnis grounded into a fielders' choice that made it 15-2. Brett Wallace then singled and Kiel Roling grounded into an RBI fielders' choice to give ASU a 17-2. Matt Newman capped the scoring with a RBI single that made it 18-2.

Sontag and Wallace each had three hits for ASU and every starter except Mike Leake had an RBI. Jason Kipnis had four RBIs and walked three times.

Josh Satow settled down after the first and gave Pat Murphy five innings, allowing two runs on four hits. It was Satow's fifth victory of the season and his first since the Washington State series two weeks ago. Dustin Brader and Kyle Brule each worked a scoreless inning to close the door on the seven inning victory.

"It started a little rough there in the first inning, but I knew our hitters would do it," said Satow, "The sun is shining, the ball tends to fly a little bit more. We were starting to hit the guy and he was walking (guys), so I knew it was matter of time before we hit him."

Satow feels he made some progress on the road to regaining the success he had on the mound last season.

"I was a little tired today but I wanted to go out there and throw. I would say I didn't feel very good. I was pitching solely on what I need to improve on. There is still a lot I need to do, but I think I took a big step forward doing some certain things. Mostly, just going out there and attacking hitters instead of going around them."

Satow doesn't think that his struggles this season are due to Pac 10 hitters being so familiar with the senior.

"That's something that you think about in the back of your mind, but then you realize they still have to hit you. If they can prove to me that they can hit me, then I can start thinking about it. They have to prove to me that they know me."

Murphy was pleased with his lefty's outing.

"He pitched out of that inning nicely, damage control. After the ten run inning, to come back out and throw the way he did, I'm pleased with him," said Murphy, "I'm pleased with Brader. Brader's been out 12 times this year and 10 of them have been very good ones."

ASU takes the midweek off before heading to Los Angeles to begin a three-game series with the UCLA Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday.

"This week without the midweek games will really help us," said Satow, "Some guys will get some rest and get back on our academics with school coming to an end. I think it is good for us to take a step back and get ready for this weekend."

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